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A warm cozy time, when the whole family gathers together over a warming traditional dinner and praises everything for what they are thankful in their lives. That would be a common definition of Thanksgiving, but in Carlsbad International School this would be a slightly different definition. Thanksgiving is a time when the school families gather together to talk, eat dinner, and, of course, share what they are thankful for.
Reem Sleiman
Grade 11th student
Reem Sleiman is a Syrian and Circassian student at CIS. She loves to learn about religions and philosophy, as well as art and mathematics. This young girl speaks English, Arabic, Spanish and Catalan fluently. Reem was born and lived in Saudi Arabia before moving to Spain at the age of 14. Now living in Karlovy Vary, the 11th grader is doing the IB diploma program at Karlovy Vary.

Reem is contributing to CIS blog. She has been together with CIS for more than four months now, and she thinks that Thanksgiving was a great reason to share her thoughts about the school atmosphere.
The school parents are bringing turkey to the table.
One of the best things about CIS is its great efforts to making every student feel at home. A great example of this is the CIS ''families'' we get to have, where we are put along with seven or eight other students with ''parents'' that are our teachers. Apart from this being a good way to connect and bond with peers, it also makes us feel much closer to our teachers, enriching the entire experience even more. Every Friday to kick off the weekend, we have a family lunch with our families, where we sit together and talk about how our week has been. This is done throughout the entire year. However, it was a little different on the last Thursday of November. Do you know why? It was Thanksgiving!

It already had a much different feel to it being a day of gratitude, especially for someone like me that has been given an opportunity to attend CIS, shaping my future for the better. Our history teacher, Mr. Summerhill, made a quick presentation on the story behind that day. It was close to a formal event where all of us were dressed up and enjoyed traditional Thanksgiving food like turkey and pumpkin soup. However, this wasn't my favorite part about this. My favorite moment of that day was when we went around the table and explained what we were thankful for.
Students are listening to the presentations.
It was touching, everyone expressed themselves freely without the fear of being judged, which is what CIS is about. I certainly had a lot to say, being a student on a very generous scholarship from the school, having an education my parents and I only dreamed of. It reminded us to not take things for granted and appreciate what we had.

Some thanked their teachers for facilitating the academic struggles they had at the school. Others thanked the good friends they made over the course of their stay, the friends that went with them through their personal struggles and helped them overcome those problems. Some students thanked the counselors for their efforts with helping us when we needed them the most.
Reading the thank-you notes.
Throughout the week, everyone wrote letters to people they were thankful for. The student council took care of that process and passed the letters around and delivered them to everyone before dinner. We privately read all the letters, and when the dinner celebration kicked off, we already knew we were going to have a great night to remember.

We usually get caught up with school and little problems, but it is also important to reflect on the friendships we made, the opportunities we were granted, the families that supported us and even the teachers that we see five times a day who work their hardest to make sure we have our futures set. These are the things we must consider, and I end this by being thankful for having been part of this Thanksgiving celebration that reminded me of all these things and of living in CIS with another year to come.

Thank you.